Solitary Souls, my first 8c+
posted on January, 2023

Situated in the crag of La Piazzole above Arco, this
route stands out from the others in it’s grade and
beauty. The route involves 35 meters of steep climbing
on tufas, crimps and pockets, some for me very long
moves and has two good rest positions in between. The
style of climbing is more endurance-based, which makes
the route quite unique in Arco and it’s surroundings,
where most routes get their grade from bouldery
This line had been bolted years ago by the strong
Belgian climber Nico Favresse but was never free-
climbed, in 2019 the Arco local Alfredo Webber did the
first ascent and in 2022 Adam Ondra managed a stunning
on-sight ascent of the route. In his video Adam calls
it one of the best pitches in Arco if not in the World
and even if it’s my first route in this grade, I can
only agree with him.
I tried Solitary Souls for the first time last March
and was able to do all the moves but as the wall is
South facing, I realized that it would make more sense
to try the route in Winter and so I only came back to
it in November. I was just back home from a trip to
Spain and apparently in a good shape in this style of
climbing and for the first time I was able to climb the
route with only two rests.
Then I left for another trip, this time to the US and
when I tried the route again after Christmas, I found
myself struggling with the specifical endurance that
the route requires. But after two days of tries I felt
an immediate improvement and was surprised to climb the
route all at a sudden with only one rest. Now I knew
that climbing the whole line was just a matter of time
and I got a huge boost of motivation.
During my redpoint go I was able to recover well in
both rest positions and I kept shaking out throughout
the whole route. In this way I made it to the crux
sequence fresh enough to take on the very hard cross
move. After that the route keeps going with long, pumpy
moves on tufas and just while I squeezed the rope into
the final carabiner with all the power I had left in
those fingers, I felt how my left hand opened up and I
fell into the rope with a scream of exhaustion that was
immediately followed by a scream of joy.
In the end it only took me 10 days of tries which I
think are not much when reaching a new grade, so I
guess I can say that the style of the route definitely
suits me, considering that I have always been more the
endurance type of climber.
When I look for a project I don’t only look at the
grade, but much more important are the beauty of the
line and it’s surrounding. I love to look at the
panorama while I shake out and take a deep breath. It
helps me getting relaxed in that moment and being in a
wonderful place makes the process of trying a hard
route even more enjoyable. This route is indeed an
amazing line and the view above Arco, Riva and lake
Garda is unique, so I would say it’s a 5 star rating.